Sunday 31 July 2011

Siamese Cat Key Facts

Date of Origin: we don't know! This cat breed probably goes back a thousand years. Another cat in Asia, the Japanese Bobtail goes back over 1000 years it is said so it is likely that the Siamese cat has a similar timeline.

Place of Origin: Thailand - was called Siam. Thailand is in Asia as you probably know.

Ancestry: Moggies in Siam but they were probably what I call a "de facto cat breed" although there were no cat associations at that time to record pedigree etc. What I mean is that they were in all  but name a cat breed at that time.

Names: Was called the Royal Cat of Siam (came from the King of Siam originally).

Outcross breeds: None.

Weight range: 2.5-5.5 kg or 6-12 lbs.

Temperament: Energetic, vocal and loyal.

Cat associations: GCCF, FiFe, CFA, TICA (and more lesser associations).

Colors: CFA accept traditional colors of seal, blue, lilac and chocolate pointing. TICA have a wider range including tabby and tortie pointing etc.

Silver Tabby British Shorthair

IMG_5481_bearbeitet by warper
IMG_5481_bearbeitet, a photo by warper on Flickr.
Well, this charming cat looks like a young silver tabby cat. He seems to have the classic British Shorthair attributes.

You can see the rather faint but distinct classic "M" mark on the forehead that tells us that he is a tabby cat. Not that we need that to tell!

He appears to be a mackerel tabby but it is not clear from the photo. In fact on second thoughts it seems to be a classic or blotched tabby pattern.

Nice cat and nice photo. You can see the nice cobby, solid body conformation of this cat breed in this photo.

Max 10 month old Blue British Shorthair

Max at 10 months by petercooperuk
Max at 10 months, a photo by petercooperuk on Flickr.
I like this photo from a technical point of view in relation to the appearance of Max!

He is a classic blue Brit SH. The coat looks dense and a nice cool blue/grey.

The breed standard says that the coat is "hort, very dense, well bodied and firm to the touch. Not double coated or woolly." That is a direct quote for accuracy. I am sure the CFA won't mind. Max has a coat that probably pretty nicely matches the breed standard.

The eyes are a nice orange/copper color.  This is the classic color with the blue coat. The breed standard does not specify color.

Lovely Lila Siamese Elegance

Lovely Lila by fofurasfelinas
Lovely Lila, a photo by fofurasfelinas on Flickr.
This is another smooth, cool and elegant photograph of a seal point Siamese cat in Brazil by Gaine Portal - Flickr name fofurasfelinas.

The photograph captures the elegance of the Siamese cat. The mood really is in harmony with the cat breed. Everything is right about this individual cat for me - moderate in all ways and very elegant. This cat looks like a Thai cat (classic Siamese).

I expect to see a film star about to step in for the next shot. And the Siamese cat is well known as being a cat breed that is favored by film stars because it was and still is an exotic cat. See a page on the Siamese cat and film stars.

Once in the late 1800s and early 1900s it was a rare cat in the West. The wildcat hybrids have taken over the role of exotic cats in the 21st century.

The photo on this page is protected by copyright ©. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA).

Blue Point Male Siamese Cat

My roommate's cat by Lisa Brewster 
Photo by Lisa Brewster on Flickr.
I am guessing from this cat's facial appearance and body conformation that he is a male cat. What do you think?

One thing I needn't guess about is the fact that he has very nice blue pointing. It shows the difference between seal and blue very nicely.

You can see that blue is a sort of faded black which it is (dilute black in fact).

He looks like a classic to traditional Siamese cat (i.e. in between classic and traditional - see Siamese cat types). He is not as cobby as an Applehead Siamese in my opinion (or at least his face is too elongated to be a true Applehead) but neither is the face so rat-like as to be a modern Siamese. Sorry if that sounds like I am insulting modern Siamese - I am!

Thanks to the photographer for letting us use the picture.

Saturday 30 July 2011

Siamese Cat Breed Standards

The breed standards of the cat associations are the guidelines that should be followed by breeders to ensure that their cats are of the correct "type" (appearance). This will enhance their chances of doing well at cat shows and it preserves the features of the cat breed.

The downside of breed standards is that they focus heavily on appearance and very little attention is given to health and character. It is in the hands of the cat associations to address this obvious failing.

In England, the GCCF - the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (a mouthful of a title) are the premier cat association. They call the breed standard, "Standard of Points". Sorry, but I find this phrase odd and unnatural. "Breed Standard" is far better.

The breed standards will vary, unfortunately, because there are different cat associations with different ideas and there are different types of Siamese cat. This is all very confusing and unnecessary but it has happened.

If you would like to read the standards of the two main cat associations in the USA plus the standard in the UK, here are the links:

Connecticut Cougar

cougarAlthough the mountain lion (cougar, puma - this cat has many names) was distributed over all of North America at one time, it is now confined to the west, extending to Texas, Colorado and Nebraska. The area is gradually diminishing as human population, and therefore activity, in the USA grows year on year. The cougar generally steers clear of humans and was eradicated from Connecticut in the late 1800s.

But there was one male cougar who trekked towards humans although he didn't realize it. And it cost him his life.

Cougars like all wildcats leave the natal area and seek their own home territory when adult. Females often stay close to their mother's territory while males can travel long distances to find somewhere suitable. This male cougar traveled 1,500 miles to find his home range. The usual distance might be about 100 miles.

His journey is said to have started in the Black Hills of South Dakota . This is on the far east of the current known area of distribution of the mountain lion in the United States.

Blank map by - Nations Online Project.

From South Dakota, this 10 stone male mountain lion traveled via Canada to almost the east coast of the United States where it was hit by a 4x4 vehicle while crossing the road. Many mountain lions are run over by traffic, particularly the Florida cougar. Many are also shot. Various sightings of this individual cat confirm that the journey took at least 18 months.

An interesting aspect of this story is that the people at Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington who carried out a postmortem on the cat said that it had to have been a wild cat and not domesticated or captive because it had not been declawed! Proof that it is commonplace to declaw cougars when they are domesticated. It is not uncommon to domesticate large wildcats in the USA. That in itself is questionable but to declaw the cat is horrible, self-indulgent and cruel.

The question people now ask is, "are the experts right?". Is this a rare case of a lone wildcat striking out to find its home range and going too far or is there a colony of mountain lions in the eastern states of the USA?

Michael signature

Friday 29 July 2011

Dark Old Siamese Cat

Fat cat by iamcootis
Dark Traditional Siamese Cat photo by iamcootis on Flickr.

I am guessing that this nice looking traditional seal point Siamese cat is old. I make this assessment on the basis that he is fat - no..only kidding. It is because he is very dark on the torso. Although older cats have a tendency toward obesity until they are very old when they lose weight.

His torso is almost as dark as the points (the extremities).

This darkness of the color of the hair where it should be creamy white is due to the skin being colder in that area than it would be in a young cat.

When the skin is cool at the extremities the pigmentation - melanin - is created in the skin. Where the skin is warmer in the center of the body it is not created - usually - unless the blood circulation is poor due to old age when the skin is cooler in the center of the body as well.

Interesting point: very old cats are less likely to get fleas because there is less blood under the skin due to poor circulation.

British Shorthair versus European Shorthair

European SH - Wikimedia® commons license
Whilst in England the breed that we know as the British Shorthair started its life the same thing was happening on mainland Europe. The European shorthairs were called just that: European Shorthairs. The European cat associations adopted the British cat associations' breed standard for this cat and cats were imported into mainland Europe from the UK to introduce new bloodlines. The result was, as expected, very similar (identical?) cats in terms of appearance on mainland Europe to those in the UK except for northern Europe.

In northern Europe the situation was different. The countries of northern Europe developed a European Shorthair as well but they were and are of a different "type" (meaning appearance). Northern European counties includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden.

The difference in appearance is because the breeders from northern Europe imported fewer British cats and used local shorthair cats to develop their breed. They did not outcross to Persians.

The difference in appearance created a confusion (not uncommon in the cat fancy!). The European Shorthair become distinct from the British Shorthair and is a different breed of cat albeit very similar. The European Shorthair being less cobby (due to the introduction of Persians by English breeders).

Interestingly the Chartreux was at one time classified as a European Shorthair but at the time of separation of the European Shorthair from the British Shorthair referred to above the Chartreux was also separated out. It is a cat that is similar to the Brit SH but is always a blue cat (dilute black) - a blue shaded grey.

Source material: British Shorthair Cat by Esther Verhoef.

Read more about the European Shorthair Cat

Letter to Governor on Declawing Cats

In this time of uncertainty in the United States why not write to your governor about the declawing of cats? It may be a good time to do this. Minds might be more open to the possibilities.

Annie Bruce (the author of Cat Be Good) and Ruth Young have. Ruth wrote to Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Below is Ruth's (Monty's mom) letter which she says anyone can use if they like. Obviously, you can and should personalize it. I don't expect you to agree all the contents but who cares. The important thing is to do the letter and send it!

Office of Governor XXXX

Dear Governor XXXX,

I am writing to you about an issue that may seem small in light of all that is going on in Wisconsin right now.  However, you have been consistently doing the right thing when it comes to fiscal issues, so I feel I can trust you to weigh both sides and do the right thing on another very difficult issue.

A few communities in other states have already made it illegal to declaw cats. I believe Wisconsin needs to follow their lead.

I am not a person to look to the government to solve every problem. I believe President Reagan was right when he said that the scariest words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” I am generally against legislation that places undue constraints on private enterprise. So how can I be for a new law against declawing cats? The answer is simple. According to our laws against animal cruelty, delcawing is already against the law. It is, quite simply, animal abuse for the convenience of the owner.

I believe in freedom. But I also believe people need to behave in such a way that they merit freedom.  Vets who put profit ahead of the welfare of their patients are not behaving as free people should.

Declawing, which should be a last resort procedure, is a quick money maker for vets and seemingly a quick fix for a pet owner. But the pets and their caretakers are left to pick up the pieces, as the cat starts refusing to use the litter box, becomes a biter and limps around on his stumps. This is not how a free people should treat the most vulnerable among us—animals who have no voice and no choice in how they are treated.

To me the issue mirrors abortion. The MD performs the abortion, making the quick profit. But a baby is dead and the mother is left to pick up the pieces as she deals with depression and guilt.  Like declawing, we take what should be a last resort procedure and use it as a quick easy fix, with suffering as the direct result.  In either case, is this how people who merit freedom behave?

The profit motive is usually a good thing, in that it motivates people to work harder. In doing so they do things to help all of us, like sell us gas and groceries, serve us meals,  clean up after us, bind our wounds, protect our lives and property and teach our kids. But what happens when the motive for profit overrides common decency and suffering is the result? I would love to see the AVMA change things from the inside. Their own statements call declawing a last resort procedure, but vets in the US are declawing kittens and providing packages including declawing with spay/neuter surgeries.

Vets claim declawing will keep cats in homes, but my research has shown me the opposite result. Deprived of their claws, many cats become biters. Bites are generally more serious than scratches. Due to the significant pain following declaw surgeries, cats may start to avoid the litter box, because it hurts so much.

Cats are digitigrade - they walk on their toes. Declawing takes the weight bearing structure away, because the whole last joint must be removed to avoid the claw growing back. Sometimes it does anyway. The rate of complications from declaw surgeries is very high.  Post declaw surgeries, cats have significant pain, including phantom pain, as following any amputation. The loss of the natural weight bearing structure in their paws leads to changes in gait, more pain, and even arthritis over time. Vets who declaw try to deny these changes and side effects, but to me the negative results of declawing are obvious. I work as a physical therapist assistant, so the connections between form and function are very clear to me. Changes from the original design are not usually beneficial!

All this to keep cats in their homes—as if every cat caretaker will relinquish or put down his/her cat over a few scratches on the furniture! If this is true, we really are not behaving as free people ought! But I think the vets exaggerate this situation. I believe the average person will trust his vet and take his cues from this professional, sworn to act only in the best interest of animals. I have friends who had a vet refuse to declaw a cat, and that was enough to convince them not to ever have it done. I have other friends who declaw every cat who comes into their lives and will not listen to my arguments against the procedure because I’m just a PTA, not a vet, and their vet certainly knows best.

This is a situation where government needs to step in. I wish we could step in where abortion is concerned as well, but perhaps that day will come. On the issue of declawing cats we can make a difference right now.

I encourage you to research this topic for yourself. has many useful articles on the subject.  Thanks for taking the time to learn about what may seem to be a less important issue. Believe me when I say that how a society treats its most vulnerable members should always be an issue of primary concern.



Michael signature

Thursday 28 July 2011

British Shorthair Breeding

Tabby British Shorthair Cat
Photograph: copyright Helmi Flick

The hallmark, in my opinion, of the British Shorthair is its natural body type and conformation. This is what makes this cat breed what it is. It is a natural cat after all. We need to keep it looking natural even if it is no longer natural (due to years of selective breeding)!

This is where I feel that breeders, particularly breeders in the United States need to be vigilant.

The British Shorthair is a popular cat, particularly in the USA. It is ranked 8th out of over 100 cat breeds on my reckoning. And in the USA breeders have a tendency to breed to extreme. By that I mean to breed cats that are cartoon characters of their true selves to use layman's language. Look at the flat-faced Persian, for example.

You will see Brit SHs with chunky high cheekboned flat faces that are..well...extreme versions of the natural shape of a cat's head.

The more popular the cat breed the greater chance there is of breeding to extreme because there are breeders chasing more customers. Breeding to extreme gradually defeats the cat breed's popularity because most people prefer a natural looking cat.

This tells us that cat breeders are not commercially minded people. They breed for themselves and hope to make some money. They are not thinking things through sometimes.

The photo on this page is protected by copyright ©. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA).

The British Shorthair and World War

The world wars of 1914-18 and 1940-45 seriously affected the British Shorthair. There were few breeding lines after the second world war due in part to the heavy bombing. After the war the "gene pool of quality registered stock was extremely small" (British Shorthair Cat by FM Rowley).

Non-purebred cats and Persians were used to rebuild the breed. Other breeds were also introduced:
to name three. Breeders of these cats welcomed the mutually beneficial exchange as they too had suffered loses in the wars.

Obviously, the introduction of other breeds left the British SH in an impure state. Years of selective breeding has resolved that problem. It is a shame nonetheless as the British moggies of the early 1800s were purer in genotype that the modern version of this popular cat breed.

The Natural British Shorthair

The British Shorthair is considered a "natural" cat breed because it evolved from Roman times and was not created through hybridisation for example. The Romans it is said introduced domestic cats to Britain. The British moggie is not a domesticated Scottish Wildcat as far as we know.

Most of the cats in post Roman times to the 1800s were semi-feral or loosely domesticated, "earning" their keep by catching rats etc. In India cats are still doing that job. Then in the mid to late 1800s they became a cat breed. This means that they were bred pure and according to rules laid down by the cat association at that time. I guess there was only one cat association at the beginning of the cat fancy! There are many more now.

It could be argued that the British Shorthair, before it become a recognized cat breed, was more purebred than it is now.

It is also said that the British moggie (random bred cat) that is the precursor to the purebred British Shorthair is also the founder and ancestor of the American Shorthair as they were imported with the pilgrims in the early 1600s.

The semi-cobby body shape evolved due to the colder environment of the British Isles. The super dense fur evolved for the same reason. Go to the warm Mediterranean and you will see slender white bicolor cats more often than not.

Harrison Weir's British Shorthair Cats

Harrison Weir 1889 - Wikimedia Commons

Harrison Weir a distinguished looking fellow with a beard lived between 1824 and 1906. He organised the world's first cat show. It took place in 1871 at the Crystal Palace. The Crystal Palace was a unique and rare metal and glass structure designed and built for the Great Exhibition of 185. It was moved from Hyde Park to Sydenham, South London. Mr Weir is considered "The Father of the Cat Fancy" because of his early important involvement.

Harrison Weir was also a cat show judge, artist and author. He loved his British Shorthair cats. He was patriotic it seems because he disliked the fact that they were being bred with cats from the east, such as Persians. Persian cats were also one of the first cat breeds of the cat fancy and were in the early stages of the cat fancy beginning to dominate. Mr Weir did not like that either.

At the first cat show a cat that was imported from Persia caught people's eye apparently. The Siamese and Manx were also on display. These too are early cat breeds.

Classic Blue British Shorthair - photo by jans canon
The above cat is gorgeous. Blue is the best known color for this breed. This cat in the picture above is not bred to extremes in my opinion, which I like a lot.

The Useful Cat's Tail

Cat's tailThe cat's tail is something to watch. The tail does so many things. We are still studying it. Of course, true cat lovers know a lot about their cat's tail! They know their own cat's brand of sign language.

Although people have different ideas what tail movements mean. Perhaps cats being the individuals that they are, they use their tail in different ways. No one has discussed that or done work on it.

One tail movement that seems to result in different interpretations is the swishing movement from side to side. My lady cat does this when she is on the lawn looking at a bird. Some people think that this is a sign of aggression. Desmond Morris, an eminent scientist, says it is a reflection of doubt and uncertainty or "acute mental conflict". The cat wants to prey on the bird but the open ground of the lawn that provides no cover holds her back.

Scientists have studied the tail up in the air position when domestic cats meet. The tail up is a signal of communication. The cat with the tail up is probably a lower ranking cat in the hierarchy and the tail's position sends the message that the meeting is amicable.

Cats use their tail to touch us. Our cat glides past us and touches our legs with her tail. This I presume is scent exchange and a friendly greeting and confirming our position in relation to the cat - a reassurance for the cat.

In this video of Magic waking up Andreas you can see her use her tail to exchange scent and touch Andreas. This is a beautiful greeting accompanied by copious head butting (also scent exchange).

I have noticed the tail-flick-and-skin-ripple combo. This happens when my three legged cat doesn't like the food that I have given him! It must be a sign of being unhappy with the situation. "What, you expect me to eat this!?"

When you talk to a domestic cat and you think that they are saying nothing in response - think again! Watch that tail wave around delicately and slowly, saying that I am listening. It's all about cat body language.

To the wild cats. The magnificent snow leopard has a tail like thick ship's rope but a lot prettier. It is long and strong and it acts as a balancing device while this fabulous wildcat negotiates the 40° rocky slopes in the high mountains that are its habitat.

The margay is a small wildcat that is probably the world's best cat climber (it is sometimes domesticated). It lives in the forest trees and uses its tail for balance. The same can be said of the clouded leopard; another tree dwelling cat.

On the ground, the long tail of the cheetah swishes and waves from port to starboard as it races after its prey. It too aids balance during those twists and turns.

I have only touched on the many aspects of the cat's tail. Watch is, study it. It is a fascinating piece of cat anatomy.

Michael signature

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Siamese Cat in Siam (Thailand)

Siamese cat in Thailand.

This Flickr photographer, xiffy, has managed to photograph the real thing, a Siamese cat in Siam; now Thailand, of course. The photo was taken near or in Chiang Mai International Airport.

View Larger Map

It is really nice to see the "real thing". This cat is probably more purebred than a purebred Siamese in the USA! Despite not not being registered with any cat association. I mean the genetics are probably more pure.

Several things stand out to me. The cat has normal sized ears. Modern Siamese cat breeders tend to breed cats with ears that are far too large - abnormally so.

Secondly this is the classic seal point. What you would expect in Thailand. The color of the eyes are not deep blue although this is a young cat. The color may deepen. "Extraordinary blue eyes" are how Gloria Stephens in Legacy of the Cat describes the Siamese cat eyes.

Finally the torso color is quite dark too. The classic Siamese show cats have higher contrast between center of body and extremities.

I have another picture of a Siamese cat in Siam on the Siamese cat history page and he or she also had a dark torso.

This cat's body type is classic and not extreme of course.

Funny Siamese Cat

Not sure if this picture is all that funny - more amusing. I added some words to the picture by joanna8555 at Flickr:

The drain was blocked!You can see tabby banding in this Siamese cat's tail. That is non-standard if the Siamese is a seal point but this cat might be a lynx point.

Burmese and Siamese Cats

The Burmese cat started out in Asia in these countries: Siam (now Thailand), Burma and the Malay Peninsula (now Malaysia). The breed started life in the USA when a female Burmese cat was imported from Asia in 1930.

Burmese cat - photo copyright Helmi Flick.

This cat was mated with a Seal Point Siamese. From the offspring of this mating, a male cat was bred back to his mother. The result was the Sable Burmese.

That is the connection between the Burmese and Siamese cat breeds.

You can read about the Burmese cat by clicking on this link.

The photo on this page is protected by copyright ©. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA).

Tuesday 26 July 2011


The British Shorthair cat is one of the first cat breeds of the cat fancy. Harrison Weir, one of the founders of the cat fancy (the founder perhaps) breed and kept British Shorthair cats (Brit SH).  Apparently he bred British Blues, the coat color most associated with this cat breed. So this cat breed goes back to the very start of the cat fancy.

Of course the Brit SH, then, was not quite the same cat as it is today. The cat fancy started in the late 1800s in England. The phrase "cat fancy" means the group of people who breed and show purebred cats at cat shows. Non-purebred cats can also be shown at cat shows.

This cat has been described as "the working cat of Great Britain" by an American cat fancier. This may come from the fact that the Brit SH originates in the moggie cats of ancient and indeed Roman British Isles. At that time they would have been mousers earning their keep.

Remind ourselves that long-haired British (actually English) cats were the stock from which Maine Coons are made (probably). The Brit moggie started a number of breeds: Selkirk Rex being one example.

OK this is a venerable cat breed. Selective breeding has changed its appearance. The Americans overbreed it to create a face that is too extreme in my opinion. They tend to overbreed all cat breeds - sorry. It is a land of extremes.

The blue Brit SH is the cat we associate with this breed but many coat colors and patterns are allowed by the cat associations and it is the cat associations that dictate how these cats look through their breed standards.

Blue British Shorthair Cat
Photo copyright Helmi Flick

The photos on this page is protected by copyright ©. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA).

See the above image in large format on this page.

Cat Rescue becoming Cat Hoarding

The no kill cat rescue concept is said to be turning some private and independent cat rescue operations into cat hoarders. That is an idea that had crossed my mind and it has been referred to in a news story; the source of this short post. Caboodle Ranch could perhaps be cited as a classic example.

Apparently cases of cat hoarding are on the increase in respect of cat rescue centers (25% of cat hoarding cases concern rescue operations). I can see the problem. In fact you could say it is almost bound to happen where the person is not practical and/or inexperienced.

This is because the supply of cats needing homes has for many years been higher than the demand for these cats. This inbalance between supply and demand may be getting worse. If that is the case someone has to care for the cats if they are not to be euthanised and that burden often falls upon the concerned cat lover who wants to do something.

They start off with good intentions and then it gets out of hand until what they are doing is bad for the cat not good because they are unable to care for large numbers of cats sufficiently well. Cats become ill and die etc.

This is allegedly what is happening at Caboodle Ranch and now at Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary, a private, no kill animal shelter owned and operated by Steve and Pennie Lefkowitz. They present on their website a true haven of tranquility and harmony for their rescued cats but in truth it was more a slice hell for many cats.

For the person who wants to get rid of their cat they presented a perfect solution. We know that most cat shelters end up euthanising (actually it is killing) unwanted cats because of limited facilities and oversupply. The image presented by the Lefkowitzs no doubt encouraged people to go to the Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary. Of course it was too good to be true.

We are told that they had a license to keep a maximum of 144 cats but when Animal Services got involved and entered the premises with a search warrant they discovered 697 cats! Clearly it had got out of hand.

This case highlights the divide between people such as PETA who believe that killing cats humanely is better for the cats who are living miserable lives, and the people who support TNR and protecting life.

I disagree with PETA profoundly. If we just kill unwanted cats we keep in balance the imbalance. By killing cats we support the oversupply problem. Plus it is immoral and people kill cats not for the sake of the cat but for their personal reasons. Much more work needs to be done on proactively tackling the root cause of the problem. See also feral cat problem.

Michael signature

Dark Coated Siamese Cats

We know that Siamese cats have cream fur in the center of their body - the torso and upper part of the legs - while the extremities (points - strange word really) are darker. This is what makes the Siamese cat what it is.

Sometimes you see Siamese cats that have dark fur on their torso area. The contrast between the body and extremities is much reduced.

This occurs in older cats because of poor blood circulation. This results in the body being cooler which in turn leads to production of pigmentation in the skin that goes into the hair shafts.

I am guessing too that in cooler climates there might be darker fur in the torso area.

Monday 25 July 2011

The Siamese Cat's Long Thin Tail

IMG_2134 by Insomniac86
IMG_2134, a photo by Insomniac86 on Flickr.

This photo shows the Siamese tail: long, thin, tapering to a fine point. Those words are from the Cat Fanciers' Association breed standard for this cat (PDF file opens in a new window).

The tail that we see fits the breed standard well, it seems. The image is a direct link from Flickr. Sometimes these fail please note.

This cat is a seal point modern Siamese (oriental in appearance). Although not bred to extreme. The appearance is almost that of a Thai cat.

Blue Point Traditional Siamese with Mild Squint

Che Che's photo set by AJ Franklin
Che Che's photo set, a photo by AJ Franklin on Flickr.
The title says it all. It is hard to tell but this nice looking Applehead Siamese does have a slight squint (cross-eyed gaze).

This is not uncommon in Siamese cats. The cross-eyed look and kinked tail are part of the breed as are the pointed extremities.

Breeders of this cat breed out these so called defects.

My research indicates that the squint does not affect binocular vision (depth assessment).

Siamese Cat Keychains

Here is a nice selection of Siamese cat keychains on

Siamese Cat Shelters

I have not found Siamese cat shelters in Illinois but something better probably. I would be very surprised if a cat shelter dedicated itself to Siamese cats only.

The website has two Siamese cats that need rescuing at the time of this post.

They don't make it clear if the cats are purebred or not. But describing the cats as "Siamese" indicates purebred. You will need to see certificates though to prove that. There are many more purebred mix cats in rescue centers than purebred I am sure.

This is the page. Obviously things change all the time.

Siamese Cat Genetics

tThe bit about Siamese cat genetics that is particularly interesting is the way the pointing is created.

I'll occasionally quote Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeders & Veterinarians if I may under fair use provisions. I am promoting the book.

"The phenotype is a form of 'Himalyan albinism'".

Production of the pigmentation that is in the hair strands depends on temperature. At a certain temperature (body temperature) the pigment is not produced while at the extremities where the skin is cooler it is.

"The albinism allele has other affects.." The visual pathway is disrupted". {see Siamese cat health}

"The seal point is a non-agouti black with the addition of the Siamese allele cs. The full genotype aaB-cscsD-. Note that Gloria Stephens in Legacy of the Cat  (page 19) says that "The genotype for a seal point shorthair is: a/a, B/-, D/-, i/i, L/-, s/s, T/-, wb/wb, w/w, cscs

Key: c=albino, cs=pointed, aa=non-agouti, B=Black, dd=dilution, D=dense pigmentation, O=red (Orange), o=non-orange. Click on this to see cat genetics symbols for more information.

The seal point is a degraded black typical of the workings of this allele.

The Blue pointed Siamese has the genotype: aaB-cscsdd.

The chocolate point Siamese has the genotype: aabbcscsD-

The lilac point has the genotype: aabbcscsdd.

The lynx point (tabby sometimes called Colorpoint Shorthair) has the genotype: A-B-cscsD-.

Blue tabby point is: A-B-cscsdd.

Blue tortie point is: aaB-cscsddOo.

Chocolate tabby point is: A-bb-cscsD-

Chocolate tortie point is: aabbcscsD-Oo.

Lilac tabby point is: A-bbcscsdd.

Lilac tortie point is: aabbcscsddOo.

Seal tortie point is: aaB-cscsD-Oo.

The seal tabby tortie is: A-B-cscsD-Oo.

All Siamese have the cscs.

The red point is: aacscsOO.

The red tabby point is: A-cscsOO.

This is not a complete list.

Siamese Cat Hat

Here is a nice selection of Siamese cat hats on (USA market).

Siamese Gray Seal Cat

People search for a Siamese gray seal cat. If you are one of those people you must mean a Blue Pointed Siamese cat. Blue is cat fancy language for gray and gray is dilute black or in this case diluted seal (very dark brown).

I have four short articles on the Blue Pointed Siamese cat (excluding this one). This might be more than four by the time you bump into this page.

Siamese Cat Breeder OK

Here are two one Siamese cat breeders in Oklahoma, USA. I can only find one on two of the best sources: CFA breeder referral list and

WeAreSiamese Cattery - located? I can't find out where they are located. I find that strange but I love the fact that the breeder, Carolyn Van Orden, completely agrees with me about the modern super slender (anorexic!) modern Siamese. She breeds traditional Siamese cats (Appleheads). What is also strange is that she is affiliated with the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) and as far as I was aware the CFA only acknowledge the modern skinny Siamese - figure that one out. I would check them out! Go for this one. You will get a nice cat I reckon.

Siamese Cat Heat Signs

Siamese cat heat signs will be same as the signs of any cat that is in heat. I guess that is obvious.

As it happens I have some pages on cats mating and what happens before and after! Cats make vocalizations when in heat as we know. These are vowel sounds. There are a number of female cat behavior changes during heat (estrus or estrous).

Click on the last link to read about cat heat signs that apply equally to the Siamese cat. Cat pregnancy can follow....

Unwanted Cats

Abandoned cats - calendarElisa has written about the various ways people make excuses for surrendering their cats. But what about the people who simply have to abandon their cats...anywhere and anyhow. Or at least that is what they think they have to do.

Apparently New Yorkers are abandoning their cats and dogs on the streets, under bridges, in plastic bags, in parks, in apartments they just left, in cemeteries, just about anywhere in fact. What seems to be a white purebred Persian was, it appears, dumped outside an Apple store. I wonder if the owner thought that a typical Apple customer would take a fancy to a cute purebred cat?

Abandoning animals is apparently illegal in New York. I guess no one gets prosecuted, though, because no one gets caught in the act. Unsurprisingly, most abandoned cats end up being hit by traffic.

There are obviously many examples where the reasons to relinquish a cat are reasonable. For example, there are many good people who take in and care for semi-feral cats who then find they can't cope because of ill health and are left without a means to re-home the cats. However, there are many cases where where people recklessly abandon their cat for no good reason.

The dire state that this puts the cat in is being compounded in New York by budgetary cuts and overstretched rescue centers. People who try to relinquish their cats in a reasonably responsible manner are being forced to dump them. They feel that there is no help out there.

This is a very sad state of affairs. Overall you can see how the economic problems facing the United States is impacting the domestic cat on two fronts: people feel they can no longer afford to keep a cat and the government can't afford to pick up the pieces.

A lot of the people who simply dump their cat outside think the cat can cope by reverting to the wild - become feral. This is not the case. A few domestic cats might cope and some will manage better than others but all domestic cats will struggle and most will not survive that long.

I think that people who want to surrender their cat should:

  1. Firstly re-examine the problem. "Do I really have to abandon my cat?"
  2. If the answer is yes then a greater effort to find a placement at a rescue center should be made.
  3. Use Facebook to network and/or the other social network websites. Although this is not always successful.
  4. In New York you can relinquish your cat to the NYC AC&C shelters. The cat may be "euthanised" however. The shelter fees charged might be waived.
It seems to me that the fate of the unwanted cat is almost invariably an early death.

[Photo illustrating this short article is by Stefan Tell - Flickr]

Michael signature

Sunday 24 July 2011

Siamese Cat Art Prints

One of the best places to find Siamese cat art prints is on Amazon. Below is a slide show of art prints.

Siamese cats make natural subjects for art prints with their high contrast coats and friendly character. The products on display are for sale on the USA market.

See Siamese Cats discussion. And Painting a Siamese Cat.

Painting A Siamese Cat

Portrait of a Siamese Cat copyright Denise Laurent
See Denise's website here. This is a particularly good painting of a Siamese cat. It captures beautifully the slightly superior nature of the Siamese! Well I don't mean to say that Siamese cats are aloof and standoffish. Far from it. They love being around their human companion and communicating with him or her.

But it is said that in Siam, way back in their long history, they lived in palaces with royalty. This cat still thinks she is living with royalty! This cat is a blue pointed Siamese and in my opinion a classic Siamese.

The image on this page is protected by copyright ©. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA).

Painting Cats

Portrait of a Siamese Cat by Denise Laurent

How many of us have commissioned an artist to paint their cat? Not many I suspect. But how many would like to do it?

I think that a well crafted painting of a cat companion can go well beyond a photograph in terms of conveying the character of our cat but it has to be very good to do that.

A painting or drawing of a cat that can be called "art" should accurately capture both the appearance of the cat and his or her character and perhaps a bit more. It may portray something of the relationship between cat and human and it might portray what the artist's client feels about their cat. These are very subtle and elusive concepts but I believe that they can be achieved in pantings of the highest quality.

I would like to present an artist who lives in London, England who takes commissions for paintings of animal companions. Her name is Denise Laurent.

She works in oils or acrylics and can work from photographs. I would guess that the best combination for an artist who paints animals is to paint from life plus have some photos to work from as cats are only still when curled up dozing or asleep! As Denise mentions on her website, the cat is a still life in motion.

If the client likes the idea, Denise will involve the client in the making of the painting as it progresses. I think that this is smart and sensible as it allows her to receive information in respect of the person's thoughts and feelings about their cat and about the cat's character and behavior and whether this information is on the canvas. This all helps to get it right for the client and to capture the essence of the individual cat.

You can see a page on cats in paintings by other artists on this page.

Michael signature

Saturday 23 July 2011

Cognitive Function Syndrome in Domestic Cats

In layman's terms this long title, for me, means your cat is suffering from dementia or a loss of brain function due to old age. I am sure that it is common in geriatric cats just as it is with their human companions.

The condition causes confusion, a lack of awareness of surroundings, a desire to be comforted (my assessment) because of the confusion and possible litter box problems.

There may be an underlying medical condition that needs to be checked out but failing that turning up positive, an old cat who is for example crying out at night and behaving differently is probably suffering from dementia.

My old lady cat who is 19 years old has dementia. It is not that bad but her behavior has changed. She wakes me up at some ridiculous times in the early hours and cries out loudly. You can hear her at the beginning of this video:

How far can and do we go when communicating with our cat?

There is little that we can do except love her more and make sure she is fed well and noticed.

I don't believe in the idea that a cat with dementia crying out at night should be automatically ignored. She is doing it for a reason. And in my opinion her confusion is causing a need for reassurance due to anxiety. I can provide this.

Old cats become more bony and thinner. This is in part due, I think, to their confusion. The cat with dementia loses her habits regarding feeding too.

See Geriatric Cat Care and Changes in Older Cats.

Michael Avatar

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Increased Thirst in Domestic Cat

Increased thirst in the domestic cat is called polydypsia. It is a sign of kidney failure and is accompanied by increased urination (polyuria). Two other possible cause are feline diabetes and feline hyperthyroidism.

Both these conditions are common in older cats. It is said that most older cats suffer from some degree of kidney failure.

Michael Avatar

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Friday 22 July 2011

Cat dermatitis eczema remedy

People search for a cat dermatitis eczema remedy but the only sensible remedy it seems to me is to remove the cause of the dermatitis.

cat dermatitis
Photo by Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue

"Remedies" will suppress the symptoms perhaps. They may be effective. But if the underlying cause of the dermatitis is still present the cat's health will be negatively affected by that plus the treatment may well have side effects so the cat's health will be negatively affected by that too. Double trouble at least potentially.

I would treat the dermatitis to relieve discomfort as a temporary measure and urgently do work on finding out the cause.

Incidentally, I cannot find a reference in the index of the best cat health book, Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook, to cat eczema.

A product that is said to relieve discomfort is this one: Feline Royal Coat EFA Express - Cat - $24.95
from: Pet Wellbeing Inc.

Chemicals that can cause irritant dermatitis (direct contact causing irritation) include:
  • acids
  • alkalis
  • detergents
  • solvents
  • soap petroleum by products
Allergic contact dermatitis (gradual sensitisation caused by contact) can be caused by allergic reaction to e.g. flea powders, flea collar, shampoo, certain plants, leather, plastic dishes, rubber dishes, carpet dyes and medications. Litter can cause dermatitis too. This may be caused by a chemical added to the litter to make it clump better. The feet and anus would show symptoms.

Michael Avatar

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Thursday 21 July 2011

Chocolate Point Siamese Cat Nome

I have got to show you Nome, a fine chocolate point Siamese cat. The photo shows the chocolate points perfectly and the profile of Nome is almost perfect under the breed standard. Under this standard there should be no nose break (for the modern Siamese cat). This means the line in profile should be straight or without a break between the forehead and end of nose in profile.

Chocolate point Siamese - photo by Bri Williams

I think that this is a really nice photo. Nome seems to be what I would call a classic Siamese (Thai cat). Out of curiosity the breed standard from TICA (they register the Thai cat) is on this page. See also Thai cat breeders.

See another page and more info on chocolate point Siamese.

Communicating With Your Cat

How far can be go when communicating with our cat? What I mean is how sophisticated can our conversations be? What kind of information can be transmitted between us and our cat?

Unbelievers or people who don't like cats will say that you can hardly communicate with your cat at all. I disagree and I am sure many if not all cat lovers would agree that you can understand the desires, emotions and thoughts of your cat companion provided you have a knowledge of cat sounds and have an empathy with your cat. Routines and body language also play a large part in understanding your cat.

How far can and do we go when communicating with our cat?

The video above has examples of the sounds our cat makes. There are a lot of nuances to the standard meow for example. The meow is a vowel sound. But it seems to merge with trills and grunts (murmur sounds) and other unclassified sounds. I describe the classification of sounds in the video.

It appears that cat sounds are work in progress from a scientific point of view. I am thinking both of the subtle variations on the basic sounds and their meaning.

A lot of the time the sounds our cat makes are expressions of an emotion, much in the same way that we make an exclamation when we are surprised.

But they are more than that. When we are intimately aware of our cat's preferences, his or her various vocalizations, routines and body language, we can better understand our cat's desires and feelings and be a better cat caretaker as a result.

Michael Avatar

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Wednesday 20 July 2011

Siamese Breeders in Massachusetts

Here are two Siamese cat breeders in Massachusetts:

Cats Cradle - They breed "traditional and classic oriental and colorpoint Siamese. Located: Tyngsboro, MA. These are going to be non-standard Siamese on my reckoning. Oriental Siamese are modern Siamese or Oriental Shorthairs but I am not a breeder hence the slight uncertainty. Oriental Shorthairs are the same shape as modern Siamese cats but in a much wider range of colours and no pointing. This is their website. They also breed longhaired Siamese cats - the Balinese.

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Sutton Meows - affiliated with the CFA and CCF - located in Sutton, Mass. Their cats are modern Siamese cats (slender) in the traditional pointing colors of blue, lilac, seal and chocolate. This is their website.

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Lifelike Siamese pet cat plush

Uhmmm....the Siamese cat plush below is the most lifelike that I have seen on and there are a lot of them on that website.

As plush toys are well...plush..meaning fat the Siamese cat plush has to be a traditional Siamese cat because the modern Siamese is far to thin to be represented as a plush toy. The traditional Siamese are normal sized and shaped cats.

That's it! For the time being.

Siamese Cat Books

Here is a nice selection of Siamese cat books on (North American market).

Note: in my experience a lot of books on the various cat breeds are rather waffly. You might be advised to buy the best book you can afford and/or one of the books about cats generally as a book on caring for cats generally will apply to the Siamese cat of course.

Snow Leopards In Afghanistan

Snow leopard in captivity UK - Photo by Daniel P Davis

It is nice to know that there is something pure, natural and nice in Afghanistan. It sure as hell is not going to be human though!

Wildcats are not confined to national boundaries as are people. That applies to the snow leopard.

The distribution of the snow leopard is very large and the ranges of the individual snow leopards are the largest of all the wildcats. They can be over 1000 sq kilometers. They need a lot of space and have found it in northern Afghanistan where they have found a degree of isolation from the ever dangerous human.

Apparently they inhabit the Wakhan region. The isolation plus a reduction in poaching for their skins (thanks to good conservation) has resulted in a surviving population in the area.

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Snow leopards are very elusive too. It is hard to see them, to find them. It is almost impossible.

The information for the existence of this population of snow leopards in Afghanistan comes from camera traps. These are cameras that are automatically fired off by a passing animal. Clearly they have to be well positioned and lots of patience is required. Although a person does not have to be present at the site of the camera it can take a long time for that all important photographic evidence.

The Wildlife Conservation Society estimate that there are between 4,500 and 7,500 snow leopards left in the wild across 12 Asian countries. This is a decent number by wildcat standards but nothing in relation to human populations.

See Habitat of Snow Leopard for lots more.

Michael Avatar

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Si and Am Siamese Cats

Si and Am are the two Siamese cats in the successful and well known Walt Disney animated feature film, "The Lady and the Tramp".

Here they are:

Please note that videos like this one sometimes get pulled off the internet for breach of copyright so you might see a blank screen in due course.

If that happens this is a screenshot:

Si and Am in the Siamese cat song from Lady and the Tramp

Note: concerning copyright: I claim fair use as the picture is small, is uncompetitive vis-a-vis the original work and it promotes the original work.

Siamese Cat Song Disney

This search term relates to the Walt Disney film, "The Lady and the Tramp". The song was sung by that great American female singer and song writer: Peggie Lee who wrote the song for this Walt Disney animated feature film.

The film was released in the summer of 1955.

You can read a lot more about the Siamese cat song on this page.

Loosing a Siamese Cat

Photo by designwallah (Flickr)

Loosing a Siamese cat must be traumatic for both the cat and the human companion. I know of no particular thing that we can do except for the usual things. Making enquiries locally and putting signs up is what usually happens.

Here are some pages on a lost cat:

In the UK the Siamese Cat Club have a nice service where information about lost Siamese cats can be posted on their website. This is the page on their site. It is called the Siamese Cat Club Welfare Trust. Nice one. You might like to contact them for assistance.

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